Page 3369 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 14 November 2007

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Question so resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Legislative Assembly library

Statement by minister

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, these are some facts that the Assembly might wish to be aware of, given that Mr Stefaniak raised with you the question of the Assembly’s library. Firstly, it needs to be said that the letter from your office to my office raising the issue was received in my office today. It had not processed its way from my reception desk to my own desk. That letter was passed to me in the course of question time, which was the first time I had a chance to read it.

With respect to the issue that Mr Stefaniak raised with you, he talked about the position in the Assembly library. Let me put this in a picture for you. The Assembly library has a certain establishment. The particular officer to which the letter refers was not part of the Assembly library establishment. That officer was part of the senior officer group of the ACT library service and spent an enormous amount of her time in the Assembly library of recent days. That particular officer has taken a package and is leaving the service and that position will not be refilled. That position is not part of the Assembly library establishment and has never been.

Secondly, I undertook that no substantive changes were to occur in that library—or in fact no changes other than the smooth running of the library—without discussions between the Speaker and me. For the benefit of members of the Assembly, the Speaker and I have not had a discussion at this point, and it would not be so that we would have a discussion at this point because the normal process is that there are discussions at officer level. It is important, Mr Speaker—and, through you, to the Leader of the Opposition—that the Clerk be involved in the process of those considerations.

The Clerk is the permanent head of the Speaker’s department, and Mr Stefaniak well knows that. When we talk about the resources that would travel if it were a transfer to the Assembly, for example, it would be of interest to the Clerk. At officer level my understanding is that it is the Clerk, it is my office and it is the Speaker’s office. Those discussions have not concluded. It is not appropriate yet that the Speaker and I have that discussion. But I can tell you right now, emphatically, that there has been no change to the establishment within the Assembly library; nor will there be unless and until the Speaker and I have concluded those discussions which have not started yet.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Health—oral and maxillofacial surgery

MS GALLAGHER: Earlier today in question time Mr Mulcahy asked me a question around the recruitment and the advertising process for oral and maxillofacial surgeons. I can advise the Assembly that advertising closed on Friday and there have been numerous applications from qualified surgeons. We do not routinely comment on recruitment and personnel matters and, because of the nature of the interest in this, I do not intend to make any further statements about it.

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